The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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DR. FLAECHSNER: In this connection, I should like to submit
three pieces of evidence - first of all, Speer Document 11.
Mr. President, this is found on Page 10 of the English text,
Page 7 of the French text. In this document, upon Speer's
request, in March 1942, it was put down and I quote:

  "That the Russians under all circumstances were to
  receive sufficient food and that Russian civilians were
  not to be put behind barbed wire and be treated as
  prisoners of war."

As my next piece of evidence, which will be Exhibit 4, I
would like to submit Speer Document 13.

According to this document, in May 1943, Hitler decided, at
the suggestion of Speer, that the German as well as Russian
miners should receive a substantial amount of supplementary
rations; it is also particularly specified there that the
Russian prisoners of war are to receive rewards in the form
of tobacco and similar items, for special efforts and

The next piece of evidence is Speer Exhibit 5 and it is
Document 9. Mr. President, this is found on Page 12 of the
English text and Page 9 of the German text in the Document
Book. According to this document the food supply in

                                                  [Page 392]

Italian armament plants is to be raised to about the level
of the German rations. In this connection it is important to
note that Speer at the same time issued directives that also
the families of these workers receive equivalent care.

I had other documents of this type at my disposal, but, in
order to save the time of the translation department, I did
not include them in my Document Book.


Q. Herr Speer, to whom did the bonuses of the armament
industry go, and of what did they consist?

A. We gave out many millions of packages to armament plants.
They contained additional food, chocolate, cigarettes, and
so forth, and these bonuses were given in addition to all
the extra food rations which were allowed by the Food
Ministry for those who worked longer hours or who did heavy
work. In the industries, these bonuses were given to all
workers without distinction, including the foreign workers,
prisoners of war and the workers from concentration camps.

Q. I shall again refer to the fact that these bonuses were
also given to armament workers from concentration camps
later on when discussing another document.

In what form did your ministry put its demands to the

A. It is important to note that the demands put to
industries were only in the manner of production schedules.
It was up to the industries to make their requests as to
manpower, machinery and material on the basis of these

Q. Was there often an unusual increase in working hours in
industry, and how did this happen?

A. In theory, working time should remain uniform in modern
assembly line production during the entire month. But due to
the bombing attacks, delays in supplying tools and raw
materials set in. As a result the number of hours in
industry varied from eight to twelve a day. The average,
according to our statistics, was 60 to 64 hours a week.

Q. What were the working hours of the factory workers who
came from concentration camps?

A. They were exactly the same as for all the other workers
in the industry, for the workers from concentration camps
were on the whole only a part of the workers employed, and
these workers were not called upon to do any more work than
the other workers in the factory.

Q. How is that shown?

A. There was a demand on the part of the SS that the inmates
of concentration camps should be kept in one part of the
factory. The supervisors consisted of German foremen and
specialists. The working hours, for organisational reasons,
had to be co-ordinated with those of the entire industry.

Q. It is shown unequivocally from two documents, which I
shall submit in another connection, that also the workers
from concentration camps employed in army, naval, and air
armament branches worked on the average 60 hours per week.

Herr Speer, were special KZ Camps, the so-called work camps,
established next to the industries?

A. The work camps were established so that long trips to the
factories could be avoided and so enable the workers to
arrive at the factories fresh and ready for work.

Furthermore, the additional food which the Food Ministry had
granted for all workers, including the workers from
concentration camps, would not have been received by these
men if they had come directly from big concentration camps;
for then this additional food would have been used up in the
concentration camp. In this way, those workers who came from
concentration camps received in full measure bonuses which
were granted in the industry, such as cigarettes, or
additional food.

Q. Did you know, during your activities, that the workers
from concentration camps had advantages if they worked in

                                                  [Page 393]

A. Yes. My co-workers called my attention to this fact, and
I also heard it when I inspected the industries. Of course,
a wrong impression should not be created about the number of
concentration camp inmates who worked in German industry. In
toto one per cent of the labour personnel came from
concentration camps.

Q. When you inspected establishments, did you ever see
concentration camp inmates?

A. Of course, when on inspection tours of industries I
occasionally saw inmates of concentration camps, who,
however, looked well fed.

DR. FLAECHSNER: Concerning the report which Herr Speer made
about concentration camps and the treatment which the
inmates received in factories, I refer to a confidential
letter from the Office Chief Schieber to Speer, dated 7th
May, 1944. I submit it as Speer Document 44, Exhibit 6.

Mr. President, I am sorry, this will also be found in the
second Document Book which has not yet been submitted. But
it would be a pity if I were not to discuss it at this time,
for it fits so well into this pattern. Therefore, I should
like to quote briefly from it.

The Office Chief Schieber writes to his minister as follows:

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Flaechsner, the Tribunal thinks it would
be much more helpful to them to have the document before

We are told that the book will be ready tomorrow afternoon,
and that it will not be ready before tomorrow afternoon.

DR. FLAECHSNER: Mr. President, I believe that I did
everything possible at the time to see that the documents
were put at the disposal of the translation department in
good time. The difficulty must have arisen from the fact
that the interrogatories did not come back in time. I assume
that is what happened.

The quotation from this document is not long, Mr. President.
I believe I might as well quote from it now. Or do you wish
that -

THE PRESIDENT: No; go on, if it is more convenient to you. I
do not mind. You may go on.

DR. FLAECHSNER: Thank you very much.

The Office Chief Schieber writes to his minister:

  "Owing to the care of the workers from camps by our
  factory managers in spite of all the difficulties, and
  the generally decent and humane treatment which foreign
  and concentration camp labourers received, both the
  Jewesses and concentration camp labourers work very
  efficiently, and do everything in order not to be sent
  back to the concentration camps.
  These, facts really demand that we transfer still more
  concentration camp inmates into armament industries."

And a few lines farther down:

  "I have discussed this whole matter in great detail with
  the delegate of Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl, Sturmbannfuehrer
  Maurer, and especially pointed out that, by a
  decentralisation of concentration camp labourers, it
  might be possible to fully utilize their working strength
  and at the same time give them better nourishment and

Then he goes on to say:

  "Moreover, Maurer especially points out - "

THE PRESIDENT: You need not make such long pauses as you are

  DR. FLAECHSNER: "Moreover, Maurer especially points out
  that Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl stated the food situation of
  concentration camp inmates working in factories is being
  improved constantly, and, because of special bonuses in
  the form of food and constant medical attention, there
  had been a marked increase in their weight, and, because
  of these things, better work was being achieved."

                                                  [Page 394]

In another document, No. 46, we see that the using of
concentration camp workers in armament industries is
recommended in that it brings advantages to these workers
and that for this reason concentration camp inmates are glad
to work in armament industries.

I refer, in this connection, to Document 1992-PS, which may
be found on Page 11 of the Document Book. It is Page 14 in
the English text. This document shows that already in 1937
inmates of concentration camps were being employed in
workshops and that this employment was quite popular.


Q. Herr Speer, what do you know about the working conditions
in subterranean factories?

A. The most modern equipment and the most modern weapons
were installed and stored in subterranean factories. This
equipment required perfect conditions of work, air which was
dry and free from dust, good lighting facilities, big fresh
air installations, so that the conditions which applied to
such a subterranean factory would be about the same as those
for night shifts in ordinary factories.

I should like to add that contrary to the impression which
has been created here in court, these subterranean
factories, almost without exception, were staffed with
German workers, because we had a special interest in having
these modern installations manned by the best workers who
were at our disposal.

Q. Can you tell us about how many of these factories there

A. It was an insignificant number at the end of the war. We
were using 300,000 square metres for subterranean factory
buildings, and we had planned for 3,000,000 square metres.

Q. Herr Speer, in the year 1943, you visited the
concentration camp at Mauthausen? Why did you visit this

A. I learned, when I inspected industries at Linz, that
along the Danube, near the camp at Mauthausen, a large
harbour installation and numerous railway installations were
being erected, and that the stone coming from the quarry at
Mauthausen was to be transported to the Danube. This was
purely a peace-time matter which I could not tolerate at
all, for it violated all the decrees and directives which I
had issued. I gave short notice of an impending visit, for I
wanted to ascertain on the spot whether this construction
work was an actual fact, and if so, to demand a stoppage of
the work. This is an example of giving directives in a field
within the economic administrative sphere of the SS. I
stated on that occasion that it would be more judicious to
have these workers employed during war time in a steel plant
at Linz rather than in peace-time construction.

Q. Will you describe the visit to the camp?

A. My visit ostensibly followed the prescribed programme as
already described by the witness Blaha. I saw the kitchens,
laundry, and living quarters of the barracks. These barracks
were made of massive stone, and were models as far as modern
equipment is concerned. Since my intention of visiting had
only been announced a short time before my arrival, in my
opinion it is out of the question that big preparations
could have been made before my visit. Nevertheless, the
camp, or the small part of the camp which I saw, appeared to
me to be very clean. But I did not see any of the workers,
any of the camp inmates, since at that time they were all
engaged in work. The entire inspection lasted perhaps
forty-five minutes, as I had very little time at my disposal
for a matter of that kind, and I had a repugnance to
visiting such a camp where prisoners were being kept.

Q. The main purpose of your visit, then, was to request the
stoppage of the work which you considered non-essential to
the war effort?

A. Yes.

Q. On your visit, were you able to learn about the working
conditions in the camp?

                                                  [Page 395]

A. No, I couldn't do that since no workers were to be seen
in the camp and the harbour installations were so far from
the street that I could not see the men who were working

Q. Did you learn, on your visit to Mauthausen or on another
occasion, about the cruelties which took place at this
concentration camp and at other concentration camps?

A. No.

Q. Now, I should like to conclude my questions on the
utilization of workers by asking you:

Did you have any interest in the fact that a healthy and
sufficiently trained labour supply should be at your

A. Naturally, I had the utmost interest in this matter even
though labour supply was not within my province. Beginning
in 1942, we had mass production, and this system with
assembly line workers demands an extraordinarily large
percentage of skilled workers. Because of conscription for
military service, these skilled labourers had become
especially important, so that any loss of a worker or the
illness of a worker meant a big loss for me.

Since a skilled worker needed an apprenticeship of six to
twelve weeks, and even after that training for a period of
about six months, the loss in production is considerable,
for it takes about that much time before work of quality can
be expected. Thus it is evident that the care of skilled
workers in industry was a matter of considerable anxiety to

Q. The prosecution has mentioned the so-called extermination
by work. Could a change of personnel, arising from
extermination by work, be tolerated at all by an industry?

A. No. A change in the workers in the way in which it was
described here would not be tolerated in any industry. It is
out of the question that, in any German industry, anything
like that could have taken place without my hearing about
it; and I never heard anything of that sort.

Q. Herr Speer, the prosecution asserts that you used methods
of terror and brutality to increase to the utmost the output
of the compulsory workers -

A. No

Q. Just a moment. I have not finished. The prosecution is of
the opinion that you used SS and police against recalcitrant
workers and favoured and recommended the use of
concentration camps for the same. Is that correct?

A. No, not in that form, for that was against my interests.
There were efforts in Germany to bring about increased
productivity through very severe compulsory measures. These
efforts did not meet with my approval. It is quite out of
the question that 14,000,000 workers can be forced to
produce satisfactory work through coercion and terror, as
the prosecution maintains.

DR. FLAECHSNER: In this connection, please refer to Page 7
of the English text, Page 4 of the French text. I should
like to quote from Speer Document 143. It says there:

  "I do not believe that the second system which might be
  applied in our economy - the system of compulsion by
  Industrial Commissioners, and punishment when output is
  insufficient - can lead to success."

Now, Mr. President, I have come to the end of my first part.

THE PRESIDENT: The Court will adjourn.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 20th June, 1946, at 1000

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